JAKARTA, Indonesia — Two landslides set off by heavy rainfall and unstable soil killed not less than 12 individuals on Java, Indonesia’s most populous island, and left rescue employees trying to find survivors, catastrophe officers mentioned Sunday.
Amongst these killed within the landslides in West Java Province had been the top of a neighborhood catastrophe reduction company and an Indonesian Military captain who had gone to assist rescue survivors from the primary landslide on Saturday afternoon. They had been caught in a second landslide that night.
The landslides additionally destroyed a bridge and lower off a number of roads within the West Java village of Cihanjuang. Rescuers labored into the night time however confronted an pressing want for heavy equipment to assist transfer earth and attain any attainable survivors.
“The primary landslide was triggered by excessive rainfall and unstable soil circumstances,” mentioned Raditya Jati, spokesman for the Nationwide Catastrophe Mitigation Company. “Subsequent landslides occurred whereas officers had been nonetheless evacuating victims on the first landslide space.”
A girl whose household lives within the village, Dameria Sihombing, mentioned that her father, mom, nephew and niece had been at house within the village on the time of the landslide. All 4 stay lacking, she mentioned by cellphone from Jakarta, the Indonesian capital about 90 miles to the northwest.
The primary mudslide buried the household’s house, she mentioned, and the second slide, which was bigger than the primary, buried it even deeper. Many bystanders had been additionally within the path of the second slide.
“Many individuals got here to see the rescue group and abruptly the second landslide hit,” she mentioned. “There have been extra victims from the second as a result of it was a lot larger than the primary landslide. My household is buried inside the home and to this point they haven’t been discovered.”
Ms. Sihombing mentioned her mother and father, each 60, moved to the village after retirement two years in the past from the town of Bandung, about an hour away.
Many individuals weren’t of their houses on the time of the landslide as a result of it was afternoon, she mentioned. However amongst these at house had been her mother and father’ neighbors — a mom and three youngsters. She didn’t know whether or not their our bodies had been discovered.
Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, had warned in October that the nation may expertise extra flooding and landslides than typical due to the periodic climate sample often called La Niña. The wet season is predicted to final till March.
“I would like all of us to arrange in anticipation of attainable hydrometeorological disasters,” the president said at the time.
An area catastrophe official mentioned that by noon Sunday, rescuers had been nonetheless trying to find out how many individuals had been lacking. Eighteen individuals had been reported injured.
A video of the scene confirmed a river of mud that had plowed by a densely packed neighborhood, apparently crushing and protecting quite a lot of buildings.
One video clip from the scene offered by the Nationwide Search and Rescue Company confirmed rescuers working at night time, lifting a physique onto a stretcher and carrying it away.
One other confirmed a backhoe lifting a muddy van in order that rescuers may attain the bottom beneath. The van mentioned “Struggle Virus” on the again.
The primary landslide struck the village hours after a Sriwijaya Air passenger jet crashed into the Java Sea upon takeoff from Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, in heavy rains, killing all 62 aboard.
Indonesia, an archipelago of 17,500 islands that straddles the Equator, was as soon as coated by huge rain forests. However during the last half-century, most of the forests have been burned and logged to clear the best way for palm plantations and different farmland.
With 270 million individuals, Indonesia is the world’s fourth largest nation and Java, its most populous island, is house to greater than 140 million.